Though the year is not quite over, Forbes has put together a list of the best-paid musicians of 2013 and the Material Girl tops the list, netting $125 million thanks mostly to her MDNA Tour, which grossed $305 million.
Lady Gaga comes in second, netting $80 million, mostly from touring, where she grossed $168 million.
1. Madonna – $125 million
2. Lady Gaga – $80 million
3. Bon Jovi – $79 million
4. Toby Keith – $65 million
5. Coldplay – $64 million
6. Justin Bieber – $58 million
7. Taylor Swift – $55 million
8. Elton John – $54 million
9. Beyonce – $53 million
9. Kenny Chesney – $53 million
11. Diddy – $50 million
12. Paul McCartney – $47 million
13. Calvin Harris – $46 million
14. Jennifer Lopez – $45 million
15. Roger Waters – $44 million
16. Muse – $43 million
16. Rihanna – $43 million
18. Jay Z – $42 million
18. One Direction – $42 million
20. Dr. Dre – $40 million
20. Red Hot Chili Peppers – $40 million
22. The Rolling Stones – $39 million
22. Katy Perry – $39 million
24. Tim McGraw – $33 million
25. Pink – $32 million
25. Tiësto – $32 million
I remember when the idea of a musical artist letting one of their songs be used in a commercial was the end of the world. Neil Young wrote a song about it called “This Notes For You,” in which he sings:
Ain’t singin’ for Pepsi,
Ain’t singin’ for Coke,
I don’t sing for nobody,
Makes me look like a joke,
This note’s for you.
Not any more.
Jessica Hopper wrote a fascinating story on indie rock and advertising.
“A tiny sliver of bands are doing well,” says Tegan and Sara’s Sara Quin. “The rest of us are just middle class, looking for a way to break through that glass ceiling. The second ‘Closer’ got Top 40 radio play, we were involved in meetings with radio and marketing people who said, ‘The next step is getting a commercial.’ I can see why some bands might find that grotesque, but it’s part of the business now.”
David Byrne is not happy about streaming music services such as Spotify.
In a long essay in The Guardian, he thoughtfully discusses the impact these services are having on musicians.
“In future, if artists have to rely almost exclusively on the income from these services, they’ll be out of work within a year,” Byrne writes.
Later in the piece he says: “I also don’t understand the claim of discovery that Spotify makes; the actual moment of discovery in most cases happens at the moment when someone else tells you about an artist or you read about them – not when you’re on the streaming service listening to what you have read about (though Spotify does indeed have a “discovery” page that, like Pandora’s algorithm, suggests artists you might like). There is also, I’m told, a way to see what your “friends” have on their playlists, though I’d be curious to know whether a significant number of people find new music in this way. I’d be even more curious if the folks who “discover” music on these services then go on to purchase it. Why would you click and go elsewhere and pay when the free version is sitting right in front of you? Am I crazy?”
Disclaimer: I once worked at Mog, which is now a streaming music service owned by Beats.